Haiku 19

a corpse’s eyes
bloom
– firecrackers

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Captivated

With the lust of details, of course
flights of words and verse
you put me in the highlands where flowers grew wild
yellow, lavender, ivory, burnt sienna
untamed, like the fire in your youth, malign
like the falcon resting on my shoulder –
…It wasn’t real, neither the touch of grass, nor
the earth that left its fragrance
in the place I was once warmed by

Someplace Faraway

someplace faraway
there is a high school dance about to commence
rays of cyan, mauve, chrome touch young bodies
the music is from a different era but the shoes aren’t
and while some of your friends sip rum for the first time
you stand alone unaware that time is moving
a travelling yellow pierces my face, my drink falls
the music floats softly and friends start looking different
this is the dance we never attended
the floor we never scraped with polished shoes
and the ceiling whose hanging lanterns we never saw
even the slow scattering of couples evaded us
so did the long drive through a sleeping city
whose moody streetlights warmed ice-cream carts
we didn’t pass by them with half-shut eyes like we could’ve
we never met like we should’ve

Note to an Old Poet Friend

Begin with a yes,

I write to you seeking permission
to ask you to resume writing
how I miss the flow of words from your pen
the soft curses you utter to life
arriving to us as quotes to treasure
for a lifetime of joy and sorrow
Silence spreads like an ailment, often
devouring the one who deserts art, routine
eschews the one who leaves behind passion
I wish to hear of your literature again
the images I fell in love with at sixteen
the narrations over the phone, the walks
through old settlements purposed for wandering
meaningless yet potent, the strides of your poems
walking into my soul like like fleeting deer
Shut your eyes and envision your thoughts
drop by drop, seeping into phrases that form
the lovely myriad of images that talk of lakes,
countries, the worship of time and purity, moist
feet on a rainy afternoon, your dancing childhood
you left us with so much
yet so little

I write to you asking you
to resume being yourself, I miss
flying over mountains through your verses
touching minds and meeting strangers
whose names and addresses remain unknown
the splendour of watching a season bloom
the enchanting doom of fires and battles

Let the rivers of your valley
flow through your pen. Freeze and thaw.
Again and again.

BO S 012

the train gathers faces and departs gradually
stench of clogged creeks wash its spilling sides
a fresh drizzle carpets upcoming platforms
whose contents look towards the clock anxiously
each station adds stories to an obese train
that overflow from its sides like a grotesque sandwich
blurs of the night dot the scenery outside
the train takes with it the sounds coming from factories
and slums too, even collecting glances and stares
from dimly lit windows and car windshields
it empties itself bit by bit at every stop
losing weight slowly through the humid night
towards the end becoming hollow and nearly lifeless
lit by the fluorescence of flickering tubes
hummed by slanting ceiling fans thick with dust
it offers its open ribs to its programmed end
where a full platform awaits

The Story of Seasoned Aromas

simmering gravy, aroma enhanced
by fresh curry leaves
the kitchen inhaled and exhaled your art
the shelves crammed with secrets
a window spectating throughout

others strayed into writing
papers for others, signing
cheques and electronic letters
filling their time in this world
with unimportant meetings with
people who didn’t matter, catching
trains and planes
ending up nowhere in particular
you chose to open a jar

and another one, placing
spices on your palm like gems
carelessly drifting into the history
of a country, through its cookery
plotting trade routes and invasions
through narratives formed in your vessels
you even met emperors and paupers
and critics and caste-formers
at the end of it all, you even left
god behind in the past, serving
us, everytime
a different ancestral creation
others aged around you and withered
but you somehow remained, both
young and ancient